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Arbib, Sen Mark
- Question No.
Bernardi, Sen Cory
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- Start of Business
- Commonwealth Commissioner for Children and Young People Bill 2010
- Environment Protection (Beverage Container Deposit and Recovery Scheme) Bill 2010
- Tax Laws Amendment (2011 Measures No. 9) Bill 2011
- National Health Amendment (Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement Initiatives) Bill 2012
- Third Reading
- Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2011
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
(Abetz, Sen Eric, Evans, Sen Christopher)
(Polley, Sen Helen, Conroy, Sen Stephen)
(Brandis, Sen George, Evans, Sen Christopher)
Great Barrier Reef
(Waters, Sen Larissa, Conroy, Sen Stephen)
(Macdonald, Sen Ian, Evans, Sen Christopher)
(Sterle, Sen Glenn, Ludwig, Sen Joe)
Cape York: Heritage Listing
(Boswell, Sen Ronald, Conroy, Sen Stephen)
Solar Hot Water Industry
(Madigan, Sen John, Wong, Sen Penny)
(Fifield, Sen Mitch, Wong, Sen Penny)
- Gillard Government
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: ADDITIONAL ANSWERS
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: TAKE NOTE OF ANSWERS
- Arbib, Sen Mark
- Evans, Sen Christopher
- Abetz, Sen Eric
- Xenophon, Sen Nick
- Brown, Sen Bob
- Brown, Sen Carol
- Brandis, Sen George
- Hanson-Young, Sen Sarah
- Lundy, Sen Kate
- Fifield, Sen Mitch
- Cormann, Sen Mathias
- Bernardi, Sen Cory
- Williams, Sen John
- Fierravanti-Wells, Sen Concetta
- Cash, Sen Michaelia
- Polley, Sen Helen
- The PRESIDENT
- Arbib, Sen Mark
- Australian Meat and Live-Stock Industry Act 1997: Livestock Mortalities During Exports by Sea
- Australia Post
- Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
- Commonwealth Grants Commission
- Australian Landcare Council
- AUDITOR-GENERAL'S REPORTS
Thursday, 1 March 2012
Senator BERNARDI (South Australia) (16:52): Given the fearsome reputation that Senator Arbib has developed in public, I put my name down on the list to speak because I did not think there would be that many people actually speaking in praise of him. Clearly I was wrong. I wanted to speak because my engagement with Senator Arbib has found him vastly different from what has been represented to the public or in the media. My engagement with him has been with a gentleman. It has been with a man who has had genuine concern for his portfolio and a very clear and deep love for his family. Quite frankly, I have dealt with a man I consider of great integrity, at least from my personal dealings. Your colleagues on the other side may indeed have different views on that, Senator Arbib.
We have a number of things in common, and Mark knows some of them. I am going to share a couple that perhaps he does know about. The first is that what our enemies say about us cannot be relied on to be factual and correct. I know you agree with that. At least, Senator Arbib, I can say that in my case that is exactly the truth.
Going back to that fearsome reputation, I remember when Senator Arbib first started here in the Senate he was in what is now known as my corridor, and it has never been busier. I have never seen quite the procession of ALP luminaries that were left waiting in the corridor for an audience with 'the great man' who could shape their destinies. It was a very peaceful place after you left, Mark, which we were all grateful for.
Senator Cormann touched on the fact that Senator Arbib has been characterised as a faceless man. I know he tried to label me with that tag yesterday.
Senator Arbib: I withdrew!
Senator BERNARDI: I know you withdrew. It would have only enhanced my reputation had you not withdrawn, Senator Arbib. Despite your very brief television acting career, which is something that we do have in common—and I will tell you about that privately afterwards—I would merely say that we probably both have a face for radio, and leave it at that.
Mark, your time here has been all too brief, and I say that genuinely because you are one of the people who has made an impact in this place. You have been very effective within your party in shaping how your party has developed, for good and for bad. You have also been very effective in your portfolios and you have taken them really seriously. In our conversations we have talked about a number of things, but we both have a passion for sport and I know the sporting bodies right around the country, both elite and grassroots sport, really appreciated you being their sports minister because they told me so. They said, 'Mark Arbib's not a bad fellow.' That is what I said, actually—that was as good as it got! No, they said you are a good sports minister. You have been a good sports minister, and sport appreciated it, so if you follow that path later on I know you will do a great job.
I will miss the engagement in question time—not that I interject in question time, of course, Mr President! It was always an effort to try and find a chink in that armour to get under your skin, Mark. Maybe once or twice I managed to do it, but you shrugged it off with good grace. You always laughed and you always had a smile. That was the best thing about it: you took your business here really seriously but you never took yourself too seriously, from our perspective. I admire that and I really appreciate it.
I wish you all the best, whatever you do. I hope you get to spend a lot more time with your family. I hope they are happy to have you home. Maybe you will want to make a comeback here—after four years or so they might want you to make a comeback, Mark, you never know! Honestly, I wish you every success. I thank you for your contribution to the parliament. We have had lots of arguments over many things but we share many things in common as well, and a commitment to the betterment of Australia. Good luck!